Temple Cruises to Opening Victory

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Dionte Christmas scored 26 points and Temple held on to beat East Tennessee State 79-65 on Friday in a first-round game in the Charleston Classic. Christmas also had 11 rebounds and six assists, leading four players in double figures for the Owls, who (1-0) will play against the winner of Friday night's game between College of Charleston and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. ETSU (0-1) will play the loser of the Charleston-SIU-Edwardsville game. The Buccaneers rallied from a 20-point deficit in the second half to cut the lead to nine with 3:28 to play but Temple put the game away with free throws and key defensive stops in the closing minutes. The scoring leader in the Atlantic 10 each of the last two seasons, Christmas got his senior season off to a good start. Mike Smith and Courtney Pigram combined for 37 points for the Buccaneers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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